Master of Divinity in Theology and the Arts

Drawing on both theology and the imagination, the MDiv in Theology and the Arts program will prepare you for the classic functions of ministerial leadership, such as leading worship, preaching, providing pastoral care, forming people of faith, and leading a congregation. Using the arts as the primary lens, the program will enable you to lead a congregation or religious organization with practical skills that draw upon creativity and innovation.

If your career focus is on academia or works in museums, galleries, or other arts institutions, rather than preparing for ministry, check out the MA in Theology in the Arts.

This program may be a good fit for you if you are interested in drawing upon the power of the arts for a career in:

  • Ordained ministry
  • Denominational service
  • Other forms of ministry, such as chaplaincy (with the addition of chaplaincy certification)


Concentration Learning Outcomes

In addition to achieving the core MDiv degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the MDiv Art and Theology degree program will be able to:

  • articulate an informed understanding of the historical use of the arts as a means of theological or religious expression and reflection;
  • articulate an informed understanding of the complex relationships among art, culture and religion;
  • analyze a contemporary artistic or cultural work for the ways it expresses spiritual and religious ideas;
  • express a studied theological or religious concept, question, or issue via an art form;
  • articulate the relationship between theology and the arts—both verbally and through their artwork;
  • critically interpret, analyze and reflect on a selected Christian theological text or perspective in its historical context as well as through the lens of modern questions and challenges;
  • craft and deliver a sermon or public address that demonstrates effective speaking form/style and content based on a selected context; and
  • achieve their self-defined practice of ministry goals that are appropriately based on the requirements of their denomination or other vocational path OR demonstrate skills for effective, professional, ethical, and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to a diversity of persons.


United’s MDiv at a Glance

  • 72 credits
  • Twenty-four 3-credit courses, including one field experience
  • Final thesis or project not required, but you can choose to complete a thesis as an elective course
  • Can be completed in three years if you take a full-time course load (24 credits per year)
  • Most MDiv concentrations, including Theology and the Arts, can be completed entirely via distance learning; many courses can be taken completely asynchronously


Program Course Guide Sheet for Academic Year 2023-2024

Religious Texts 4
Introduction to Religious Texts
Two 2000-level Religious Texts courses
Choose one:
Biblical Exegesis
One additional 2000-level Religious Texts course
Theological Tradition 4
Invitation to Theology: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
History of Christian Theologies
History of Modern Theologies
Constructive Theology
Ethics/Justice 2
Choose one:
Christian Ethics
Comparative Religious Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Formation 2
Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Choose one:
Organizational Leadership and Administration
Social Enterprise
Cultural Contextualization 1
Choose one:
Global Christianities
World Religions
Arts and Theology 1
Art, Religion, and Contemporary Culture
Social Transformation 1 Leadership and Strategies for Social Change
Integration 1 MDiv Capstone Seminar
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 8
History of Arts and Theology
Arts Praxis Seminar
Preaching and Your Public Voice
One additional Practices of Ministry course
Three elective courses
Choose one:
Congregational Internship
CPE Internship*
Ministry Practicum
* Although not specifically required for degree completion, Interreligious Pastoral and Spiritual Care must be completed to be eligible for CPE registration.


Learn More

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